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Summer issue of Champion magazine now available

On the latest cover of Champion magazine, graduating student-athletes at North Carolina Central toss their caps in celebration against a blue Durham sky, the cupola of a historic building on the campus in the background.

The graduates featured on the cover began college in 2015 as part of North Carolina Central’s first summer bridge program for student-athletes, designed to help students transition from high school to success in college. The program was funded by an NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program grant, which helps low-resource institutions and historically black colleges and universities increase graduation rates and ensure academic success.

The five North Carolina Central graduates featured on the cover are Jaquell Taylor, a finance major now working as a management trainee at Enterprise Rent-a-Car; Nick Leverett, now a graduate student at Rice, where he also continues to compete in football; Kendra “Bree” Simmons, now a North Carolina Central law student; Jayla Calhoun, now a North Carolina Central graduate student in biology; and Whitney White, who hopes to compete in professional women’s volleyball in Europe before beginning a career in law enforcement.

The cover story focuses on Taylor, a first-generation college graduate.

Also in the Summer 2019 edition of Champion, the NCAA and its member schools are rushing to adapt to the expanded playing field of legalized sports betting. The 150th anniversary of college football provides an opportunity to look back on the milestones along the way. A series of networking events around the country for former college athletes is bringing that community together. And Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conference commissioner and a member of the Division I Committee on Infractions, reflects on his nine-year tenure with the committee.